A Safety Message About Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.), Safety Rules

Gear Up

If anyone depends on their gear, it’s our American troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.  But did you know that the battlefield equipment of the future is here today?  It’s true.

And what amazing high-tech gear it is! One standout is the new Objective Force Warrior System. For one thing, it eliminates the need for cumbersome night-vision googles.  Instead day and night video cameras, thermal sensors and chemical/biological sensors are built into the helmet.  The helmet also has a visor that acts as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors.

The Warrior Force System even includes a redesigned uniform with electronic sensors that allow the soldier or medics to monitor the soldier’s blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and caloric consumption. So if the soldier is injured, medics can begin an assessment within seconds.

But that’s not all.  The combat uniform itself also has a built-in microclimate conditioning system, with “super fabric” incorporating a tiny network of tubing that blows hot or cold air onto the skin. Even more incredible, the electronics of the Warrior Force System are powered by fuel cells.

This is high-tech wizardry of the first order. And while it may make the personal protective equipment that we use seem downright basic in comparison, we have to keep in mind that our googles, ear defenders, hardhats, gloves and other protective equipment have been designed and refined for optimum effectiveness in our work environment.  P.P.E. is there for our safety.  It has proven itself time and time again. But it’s our responsibility to know the right P.P.E for the job and –most important—to use it!  It’s unthinkable to imagine a soldier leaving his or her protective equipment behind when going onto the battlefield.

In fact, the soldiers on combat patrol in Afghanistan and Iraq routinely carry 90 to 100 pounds of gear. The new Warrior Force System will reduce that to 45 pounds, but still—that’s a lot of equipment to carry.  Think about that the next time you feel like removing a hardhat, ear defenders, goggles or other P.P.E. while on the job.

Just one instance in which you’re unprotected can potentially result in a serious or even fatal injury. Is it really worth it?  Instead make a conscious effort, starting today, to select the right P.P.E. for the job and use it.  P.P.E protects our most vital resource—you.

Gear up for Safety!

Always Use the Right P.P.E.  For The Job

*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B230

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